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By Paul A. DiSegna | Real Estate Pro in Rhode Island
  • Fannie Mae's Serious Delinquencies Decline for 15th Straight Month

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington, Financing in Washington  |  July 1, 2011 2:44 PM  |  361 views  |  No comments

    07/01/2011BY: CARRIE BAY Printer Friendly View

    Seriously past-due home mortgages continue to decline for the nation’s largest mortgage company, continuing a 15-month path of descent.

    Fannie Mae says the share of single-family loans it holds that are 90 or more days past due or in foreclosure fell 8 basis points to 4.19 percent in April, and then dropped another 5 basis points to 4.14 percent in May.

    A year earlier, Fannie’s serious delinquency rate was more than a full percentage point higher at 5.15 percent in May 2010. The GSE’s seriously overdue mortgages have been declining ever since hitting a high point of 5.59 percent in February of last year.

  • Fannie and Freddie May Sell Modified Loans

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Washington, Financing in Washington, Foreclosure in Washington  |  May 29, 2011 6:16 AM  |  378 views  |  No comments

    05/27/2011BY: CARRIE BAY Printer Friendly View

    Modified mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Maccould go up for sale at some point, according to the companies’ regulator.

    Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), told lawmakers that his organization is considering putting non-performing and modified loans from the two companies’ books on the market.

    Since the GSEs were seized by the government in late 2008, they have completed modifications on 849,000 mortgages, DeMarco said in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises.

    The sale of these assets is one option being discussed as part of the agency’s strategy to shrink Fannie and Freddie’s portfolios.

    Their conservatorship mandates that the size of each firm’s holdings be reduced by 10 percent each year, though DeMarco says he plans on trimming at a faster rate than that. The GSEs’ combined portfolios currently sit at $1.4 trillion.

    DeMarco said FHFA is “looking at a range of possible structures” for disposing of assets and the route they’d take to “execute those sales is under review and discussion.”

    “FHFA as conservator needs a certain amount of regulatory discretion to exercise its best judgment to preserve and conserve the Enterprises’ assets,” DeMarco testified. “Discretion is particularly important when disposing of assets.”

    DeMarco explained that under the limits set by the conservatorship, the retained mortgage portfolios of each should be no more than $729 billion by the end of this year.

    As of the end of March, Freddie Mac’s mortgage assets already were below the limit at $692 billion. Fannie Mae’s were $758 billion but are expected to be below the limit by year-end, according to DeMarco.

  • Treasury Issues New HAMP Rule Requiring Single Point-of-Contact

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Washington, Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington  |  May 20, 2011 11:53 AM  |  350 views  |  No comments

    05/19/2011BY: CARRIE BAY Printer Friendly View

    The U.S. Treasury released updated guidance for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) this week requiring certain servicers to provide borrowers with a single point-of-contact through the entire default resolution process.

    The new directive applies only to the largest servicers – those with a program participation cap of $75 million or more – however Treasury says all servicers participating in HAMP are encouraged to adopt the new guidance for providing borrowers with a single point-of-contact.

    In addition to HAMP, the new rule also applies to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program and the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP). However, it does not encompass second lien mortgage loans that may be eligible for the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) under the Making Home Affordable umbrella.

    According to the new guidance issued, servicers must assign each borrower a dedicated “relationship manager” who is responsible for communicating and working with

    the borrower throughout the entire process, including any home retention and non-foreclosure liquidation options, and, if the loan is ultimately referred to foreclosure, that same relationship manager must be available to respond to borrower inquiries regarding the status of the foreclosure.

    No later than September 1, servicers must assign a relationship manager to any borrower who is potentially eligible or who requests consideration for HAMP or one of the applicable government programs.

    For borrowers who are in the process of being evaluated forHAMP, UP, or HAFA, who are in a trial mod plan or an UP forbearance plan, or who have executed a HAFA short sale or deed-in-lieu agreement, servicers have until November 1 to connect them with a dedicated relationship manager.

    Within five business days of the assignment, the relationship manager must provide written notice to the borrower which includes a toll-free telephone number and at least one other method by which the borrower may directly contact the relationship manager, and the relationship manager must attempt to initiate contact with the borrower “promptly following the assignment,” according to Treasury.

    The relationship manager is responsible for communicating to the borrower all options available for resolving their delinquency, and for coordinating maintenance and tracking of documents provided by the borrower to ensure the borrower is notified promptly if additional information is needed and to eliminate the need for the borrower to resubmit the same paperwork.

    The single point-of-contact supplemental directive, along with specific details on the relationship manager’s responsibilities, can be accessed online.

  • Fannie Mae's Delinquencies Continue Year-Long Decline

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington, Foreclosure in Washington  |  April 30, 2011 7:36 AM  |  309 views  |  No comments

    04/29/2011BY: CARRIE BAY Printer Friendly View

    Fannie Mae has released new details on its book of business, which shows the share of mortgages it owns or guarantees that’s past due by three months or longer has been on a steady decline for a year now.

    The nation’s largest mortgage company reported that its seriously delinquent rate on single-family mortgage loans slipped to 4.44 percent in February of this year. That’s down just 1 basis point from 4.45 percent in January, but it marks the 12th straight month that the rate has decreased.

    In February 2010, the GSE’s seriously delinquent rate stood at 5.59 percent, and it’s dropped every month since.

  • Washington AG's Investigation Uncovers Trustee Violations

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington, Foreclosure in Washington  |  April 9, 2011 7:33 AM  |  319 views  |  2 comments

    04/08/2011BY: HEATHER HILL CERNOCH Printer Friendly View

    The Washington Attorney General’s Office, which began an investigation six months ago into unlawful business practices by foreclosure trustees, announced Wednesday it uncovered another problem that jeopardizes homeowners’ chances of stopping a foreclosure – difficulty contacting trustees.

    “Foreclosures run on strict timelines, and homeowners need a human who they can talk with face to face when there’s a problem,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “They need an office where they can make last-minute

    payments or show documents that may prove reasons for stopping forced sales.”

    According to McKenna, Washington law requires foreclosure trustees maintain offices in the state and local phone numbers.

    “But our investigation shows that some of the largest trustees are not in compliance, and borrowers who have a legitimate reason to stop a foreclosure are having trouble reaching trustees,” he said.

    The attorney general’s office sent letters this week to all trustees operating in the state, notifying them of their obligations. The Consumer Protection Division, operated by the Washington Attorney General’s Office, is contacting trustees believed to be violating the law.

    In October 2010, McKenna sent letters to 52 trustees regarding concerns about inaccurate documents, conflicts-of-interest, faulty chains of title, and failure to provide disclosures and conduct mediations.

    Since then, the office has requested and received documents from several trustees, and attorneys are reviewing the information and waiting for documents from other companies.

  • Fannie Mae to Sell 25% Stake in Foreclosed Apartment Portfolio

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington, Foreclosure in Washington  |  April 9, 2011 7:31 AM  |  332 views  |  No comments

    04/08/2011BY: CARRIE BAY Printer Friendly View

    Fannie Mae is planning to unload a 25 percent stake in its stock of foreclosed apartment buildings. The buyer – Related Companies, a New York-based firm founded by real estate mogul Stephen Ross, also of Miami Dolphins ownership fame.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal also includes an option for Related Cos. to buy an ownership stake in any

    multifamily properties Fannie forecloses on in the future. The paper says Related will be responsible for investing in the maintenance and management of the apartment buildings.

    The move signals a change in strategy for the GSE, which historically has shied away from selling off its nonperforming assets en masse.

    According to the Journal, the Related Cos. transaction would be Fannie’s first major bulk sale of foreclosed property.

    Fannie Mae’s multifamily delinquency rate stood at just 0.69 percent as of the end of February, but with the large price tags multifamily loans carry, even that small percentage adds up to a multi-million dollar portfolio of repossessed assets.

    The Journal says Fannie Mae’s holdings of foreclosed apartment properties more than doubled over the 2010 calendar year, closing out the year valued at nearly $600 million.

  • Freddie Mac Wins Dismissal of Federal Putative Class Action Lawsuit

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Washington, Home Buying in Washington, Home Selling in Washington  |  April 7, 2011 6:11 AM  |  305 views  |  2 comments

    04/06/2011BY: HEATHER HILL CERNOCH Printer Friendly View

    A putative class action securities lawsuit filed against Freddie Mac in federal court in August 2008 has been dismissed, according to a statement from the McLean, Virginia-based GSElast week.

    Judge John Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Freddie Mac’s motion to dismiss all claims asserted against the mortgage financier in a putative securities fraud class action.

    Judge Keenan found not actionable all alleged misstatements and omissions regarding Freddie Mac’s involvement in the subprime and Alt-A mortgage markets. He stated that plaintiffs failed adequately to plead that Freddie Mac’s disclosures on those issues were either false or misleading.

    The judge also dismissed alleged misrepresentation claims relating to Freddie Mac’s capital adequacy, core capital, internal controls, and underwriting processes. Plaintiffs were given 60 days to file an amended complaint.

    The plaintiffs in the suit were two pension funds — Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund and National Elevator Industry Pension Plan.

    They sued Freddie Mac, along with three former executives for allegedly misleading shareholders about the GSE’s exposure to risky mortgage loans prior to the government’s seizure of the firm.

    Two of the three execs — former CEO Richard Syron and formerCFO Anthony “Buddy” Piszel – have disclosed in recent months that they have been notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that civil charges may soon be filed against them.

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